Shopify’s native product URL structure is less than ideal for SEO.
This is the most common SEO issue out of the box with Shopify.
It will create multiple URLs for each product depending on which collection it is in.
This means you have multiple, duplicate URLs for every product – which can harm your potential rankings.
Shopify tries to handle this product URL structure through canonicalisation (rel=canonical).
However, all internal links point to the canonicalised product pages meaning it’s unlikely Google will pay attention to them.
Visualising the Shopify product URL issue
It’s not always easy to fully understand more technical issues, but this one can be made quite clear.
Before fixing the product URL structure, you can see how Google has to go through needless extra steps to get to the final destination of your products.
They end up deep within the product structure making it more difficult to rank.
Image credits: the incredible Matt Tutt
Conversely, once you make the fix you can see how clean your website looks from an structure perspective.
The means Google and other search engines will be able to crawl your website much easier and increase your opportunity to rank.
How to fix the Shopify URL structure?
Fortunately, there is quite an easy fix in my themes.
You can fix this by editing the collection-template.liquid and removing the collection reference from where the hrefs are being generated.
Start in your Shopify dashboard by going to Online Store > Themes > Customize > Theme Actions > Edit Code > Snippets > product-grid-item.liquid:
Find the text that says “within:collection”
And delete it.
It’s that simple.
Hit Save and all your links should be fixed.
Just be careful to remove all instances, sometimes your theme may have multiple links or have a slightly different structure.
With that 5 minute fix, your product URLs will be cleaner and more easily accessible by Google.
This is always the first thing I do for Shopify clients.
Common questions about Shopify Product URLs
Can you remove the /products/ from product URLs in Shopify?
Unfortunately, at the time of writing the answer to this is no – they are fixed and no way of removing this.
Can you use sub-directories / sub-folders for international stores on Shopify?
Yes! A long time coming but you can now use sub-folders for international stores. This announcement excited the hell out of me.
What’s the best approach for international store URLs on Shopify?
Where possible, use sub-folders. It helps you leverage the authority of the main domain across all of your markets.
Can you create any pages on the root on Shopify?
Alas not, all pages have some kind of subfolder, either /pages/, /collections/ or /products.